Apple finally refreshed the forgotten MacBook Air the budget notebook that revolutionized Apple’s low-grade products. It had its goods and bads but in general, most importantly for consumers who wanted the MacOS for a lesser price. Now, they have finally updated it, it has a new display, new processors and a new look overall but for most people out there a new price too. MacBook Air 2018 is not a revolutionary device as its predecessor nor is it going to be an all rounded device.
From the looks of it, it seems that Apple the company that is renowned due to its innovation is slacking behind and the new MacBook Air is actually a device that will be the start of their “catching up.” But the upgrades that have added make it a potent device. Let’s dig into the details and see is it better than the other low-end devices.
Starting with the most obvious change between the new MacBook Air and the old one is the design, and it is one the best upgrades. The big chunky plastic body is now replaced with the standard Aluminum unibody design that looks much better.
Apple says it’s a 100% recycled Aluminum, but it feels like any other Apple laptop. The chassis is now more durable and it is now even lighter. Though the difference in weight is only in numbers, you may not feel the difference of 0.21 pounds less weight. If you compare it to the pro models then again the difference in weight is not substantial.
Another upgrade that you are mostly going to love is the new display. Its a Retina Display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 which keep the screen sharp. Moreover, the Retina Display is one of the better displays out there with accurate color reproduction.
You may love photoshopping or video editing on this display (I repeat you may). The glass that protects the display is not an antiglare rather they used a glossy, shimmery glass which can annoy you at times.
The bezels around the display are now trimmed down, but the display is not an edge to edge one which many windows laptops nowadays offer. Now, the brightness is good according to the specs it maxes out at 300 nits which is not bad, but full brightness may affect your battery timings. Lastly, the screen is not touch-sensitive, no Apple laptop is touch-sensitive, so that’s that.
Speaking of the specs, let’s get done with them first. The laptop now features the 8th gen Intel core processors that are faster than the processors present in its predecessors.
Though Apple opted for the low powered Y-series Core-i5 processors, all processors are dual cores. So, if your work depends heavily on multithreading, then these specs do not define your desired laptop. Now, the interesting point is processors on any Apple laptop are actually the modified versions so, the specs of the y-series processor may not apply here. All in all, it is still a processor that runs at a low power.
They have also added Touch ID which along with many other services that require security are protected by Apple’s T2 chip like the MacBook Pro. The Touch ID here is fast, and it is an efficient way to log in rather than typing the password every time. The storage is configurable; it starts from a 128GB SSD all the way up to 1TB SSD. There are two options for the LPDDR3 RAM you can either opt for 8GB or 16GB.
The battery here is a 50.3 Watt cell which can easily crank a full 8 hour day, but Apple promises a 12-hour browsing backup. Fortunately, Apple forgot there is a headphone jack on the body. Other than the headphone jack there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports again no USB-C ecosystem here.
Keyboard & trackpad
The old MacBook Air had a “good” keyboard the trackpad was not the one the best at the time, but the keyboard was good enough for most people. With the new upgrade the keyboard now got a butterfly treatment and Apple still banking on its research put the shimmery and slick 3rd iteration of Butterfly keyboard here. The keyboard is not bad necessarily if you are accustomed to the Apple keyboards you may not even notice the sound of the keys and the awfully short key travel.
The trackpad of Apple laptops, in general, is one of the best. The story is same here the forced touch trackpad features good tracking. You can click anywhere you want for it to register your click. The main upgrade here is that it is huge, noticeably bigger than any windows trackpad which makes the experience more pleasurable.
If I had a choice between a windows machine similarly specced but with less price and the MacBook Air, I would have definitely chosen the MacBook Air, and the only reason would be the MacOS. Its just safe and less complicated as many of the important stuff that you want your computer to do is right in front of you. It is the beauty of MacOS; it caters to your needs. MacOS is one of many reasons why people love MacBooks.
Most importantly the optimizations and security that comes with the MacOS is the way to go in current times especially. Apple also specifically cares about the security so much that they have a designated processor in the laptop called the T2 chip. It basically encrypts the SSD to keep it safe; the touch ID is also under its reign. It also features specialized drivers that help it control the speakers that are present on the device. And yes the speakers are very loud with good stereo separation and bass.
Coming to the most important part of the review, the price which is probably the reason why you would have showed interest in the product. The last MacBook Air was truly a cheap Apple product its cost was a lot less than the then MacBook Pros which was one of the reasons for its success. The price separation now is not as much as you would have liked.
The MacBook Air 2018 starts at 1199 dollars, while the MacBook Pro starts at 1299 dollars. You can get much more with an additional 100 dollars here than you could imagine.
I am not saying the MacBook Air is not the product that justifies its price. For the most part, I think the 1200 dollar price tag is actually justified, but part of me also wanted it to b a little cheaper. On the other hand, if you are a person who can switch easily between Windows and MacOS, then I would suggest there are many windows laptops out there that are cheaper and have better specifications.
For the rest of the consumers who cannot switch to windows, MacBook Air is actually better than what I initially expected. Especially, when I came to know that they have y-series chips, but still the experience is great, and the credit is due to the MacOS.
Yes, the export times are crazy long, and the fan kicks in whenever you have more than five apps open at the same time. However, getting so much out of a 7-watt processor is an achievement in its own regard. So, if you are still holding up your old MacBook Air then, folks its the time to upgrade.